a term apparently corrupted from the epithet "antholops" (Gr. ἄνθος, ornament, and ῶψ, the eye), applied by the ancients to the gazelle from the proverbial beauty of its eyes. It is now the name (antilopus) of a division of the hollow-horned ruminants (genus Clavicorna), distinguished by certain peculiarities of the horn, the maxillary glands, and their slight figure (Brande's Dict. s.v.). Although the word does not occur in our version of the Scriptures, yet there can be no doubt that in the Hebrew text several ruminants to which it is applicable are indicated under different denominations. In scientific nomenclature, the term antelope, at first applied to a single species, has gradually become generic, and is now the designation of a tribe, or even of a family of genera, containing a great many species. According to present usage, it embraces some species that are of considerable size, so as to be invariably regarded by' the natives as having some affinity to cattle, and others delicate and rather small, that may be compared with young deer, to which, in truth, they bear a general resemblance. SEE DEER. The antelopes, considered as a family, may be distinguished from all others by their uniting the light and graceful forms of deer with the permanent horns of goats, excepting that in general their horns are round, annulated, and marked with strim, slender, and variously inflected, according to the subdivision or group to which they belong. They have usually large, soft, and beautiful eyes, tear-pits beneath them, and round tails. They are often provided with tufts of hair, or brushes, to protect the fore-knees from injury; they have inguinal pores; and are distinguished by very great powers of speed. Among the first of the subordinate groups is the subgenus oryx, consisting of five or six species, of which we have to notice at least three. The oryges are all about the size of the stag of Europe, or larger, with long, annulated, slender horns, rising in continuation of the plane of the forehead, slightly divergent, regularly but not greatly curved, entirely straight or lyrated, and from three feet to three feet eight inches in length. The head is rather clumsy, and more or less pied with black and white; the neck ewed, or arched, like that of the camel; the carcass bulky, compared with the legs, which are slender, firm, and capable of sustaining great action; the tail extends only to the heel, or hough; the hair on the shoulders and neck is invariably directed forward, thus, no doubt, keeping the animal cool in flight (see Penny Cyclopaedia, s.v.; Heuglin, Antilope Nordost-Africa's, Jen. 1864)
1. The yachmur' (יִחמוּר, De 14:5; 1Ki 4:23) is not, as in our Auth. Vers. "the fallow-deer" (Sept. δορκάς, Vulg. caprea), but the oryx leucoryx of the moderns, the true oryx of the ancients, and of Niebuhr, who quotes R. Jona, and points out the Chaldaic jachmura, and describes it as a great goat. The Eastern Arabs still use the name jazmur. The leucoryx, as the name implies, is white, having a black mark down the nose, black cheeks and jowl, the legs, from the elbow and heel to the pastern joints, black, and the lower half of the thighs usually, and often the lower flank, bright rufous. The species now resides in pairs, in small families, and not unfrequently singly, on the mountain ranges along the sandy districts in the desert of Eastern Arabia, and on the banks of the Lower Euphrates; and may extend as far eastward as the west bank of the Indus, feeding on shrubby acacias, such as tortilis and Ehrenbergi. It was, no doubt, formerly, if not at present, found in Arabia Petraca, and in the eastern territories of the people of Israel; and from the circumstance of the generic name of wild cow or bull being common to this, as to other allied species, it was equally caught with nets and with the noose, and styled תאו (tao, to, theo). To this species may be referred more particularly some of the notions respecting unicorns, since, the forehead being narrow, and the horns long and slender, if one be broken off near the root, the remaining one stands so nearly on the medial line, that, taken in connection with its white-colored hair, to uncritical inspection, a single-horned animal might appear to be really present. By nature vicious and menacing, from what may be observed in the Egyptian paintings of the industry which imposture exercised, we may conclude that human art, even in early ages, may have contributed to make artificial unicorns; and most probably those seen by some of the earlier European travelers were of this kind. SEE FALLOW DEER.
2. The teo' (תּאוֹ, De 14:5, "wild ox;" Sept. ὄρυξ, Vulg. oryx) or to' (תּוֹא, Isa 51:20, "wild bull;" Sept. σευτλίον, Vulg. oryx; the oryx tao, or Nubian oryx, of Ham. Smith) is either a species or distinct variety of leucoryx. The male, being nearly four feet high at the shoulder, is taller than that of the leucoryx; the horns are longer, the body comparatively lighter, and every limb indicative of vigor and elasticity; on the forehead there is a white spot, distinctly marked by the particular direction of the hair turning downward before the inner angle of the eye to near the mouth, leaving the nose rufous, and forming a kind of letter A. Under the eye, toward the cheek, there is a darkish spot, not very distinct; the limbs, belly, and tail are white; the body mixed white and red, most reddish about the neck and lower hams. It is possible that the name tao or teo is connected with the white spot on the chaffron. This species resides chiefly in the desert west of the Nile, but is most likely not unknown in Arabia; certain it is that both are figured on Egyptian monuments (the Antilope defassa of Wilkinson, Anc. Eg. 3, 18, cut 327), the leucoryx being distinguished by horns less curved, and by some indications of black on the face. SEE WILD OX.
3. The oryx addax may have been known to the Hebrews by the name of דִּישׁוֹן (dishon', De 14:5, "pygarg;" Sept. πύγαργος, Vulg. pygargus). It is three feet seven inches at the shoulder, has the same structure as the others, but is somewhat higher at the croup; it has a coarse beard under the gullet, a black scalp and forehead, divided from the eyes and nose by a white bar on each side, passing along the' brows and down the face to the cheek, and connected with one another between the eyes. The general color of the fur is white, with the head, neck, and shoulders more or less liver-color gray; but what distinguishes it most from the others are the horns, which in structure and length assimilate with those of the other species, but in shape assume the spiral flexures of the Indian antelope. The animal is figured on Egyptian monuments, and may be thepygarg or dishon, uniting the characters of a white rump with strepsicerotine horns, and even those which Dr. Shaw ascribes to his "lidmee." SEE PYGARG.